Sunday, November 6, 2016

Marine Corps Marathon 2016

26.2 miles done! What a fantastic race.
Run with purpose, finish with pride. This was the 2016 slogan of the Marine corps marathon.

After hearing many wonderful stories about this amazing race - the scenic course, highly efficient management, handsome marines everywhere, and how difficult it was, I was drawn to join it. So when the lottery opened in March, I cast my lot. Sadly, the stars did not align for me so I just went shopping for other races.

Months passed and in August, I got a break! I found out that my employer is a sponsor of the mcm kids run and offered limited marathon and 10K registrations to employees. It was first come first served and this time, stars lined up and even jumped over the moon for me.

This was my 5th marathon in 2 years and yet I was scared and confused. Scared because I had barely 10 weeks to train, poor motivation, and low mileage. Statistically, that's 2-4 days a week of running with lots of walking, and an average of 18-27 miles per week from Sep to Oct. I felt undertrained.

Fun at packet pick up with the Jennifers
(L-R: Spangler, Palmer, uknown, me)
I was confused up to the day before the race because I didn't know what I wanted. What should I wear, how much pictures should I take, should I aim for a PR? A personal record was a long shot considering my lethargic training but recent race times revealed some hope.

After talking to a few people and meeting the lovely Jennifers (Palmer and Spangler of  26.2 Life Changing Miles) at packet pick up, I've decided to take on a simple goal - to enjoy the race and finish proud. Mission accomplished!

It was a pleasant 60F morning, partially sunny, with mild winds when we started. After 4 hours, the skies cleared and temps rose to almost 80F. Managed to finish in 5:13:31 (11:57 mins/mile pace).

Course felt mostly flat but my GPS revealed a very gradual uphill.

My garmin 920xt revealed a very gradual climb from mile 6, about 100 feet.
I could go on and on about all the things that made this race so great like experiencing the honor of running with veterans and about 30,000 participants, hearing various music bands along the way, learning about veterans while running the blue mile, marines serving all water/aide stations, post race was a party; but it's best that you experience it yourself.


I love Bordeaux red wines. 

Celebrated with this 2013 
Montagne St Emilion
1- Decide on a clear goal early on. This eliminates confusion and fear, and guides how training will go. Had I decided to PR in this race early, then I probably would have been more motivated to train.

2- It's ok to run less than 4-5 times a week. Quality trumps quantity.

3- Slow and steady wins the race, So does run and walk. But I can't let myself walk just because I feel like it. I must overcome my laziness.

Thank you to all our brave men and women who serve(d) to protect our country.

What scares you the most about racing?

More pictures in Facebook (


  1. Congrats on running the MCM my little sister ran it as well for her first marathon and had a great and memorable time. What scares me most about racing? Hmmm probably not finding a porta potty in time!

    1. Haha! Didn't even think about that. Thank you. Glad your sister picked the right 1st marathon.

  2. Congratulations on your 5th marathon. You should be proud. I've never heard anybody say anything negative about this race! It would be hard to control my emotions during the blue mile. I think with every race, the key is to enjoy the experience, whether you've trained for a PR or not. I would say falling scares me, but I just did that for the first time and lived to tell the tale. Thanks for linking!

    1. Ouch! The roads have been good to me but I've managed to kiss the ground many times on my first 25K trail race =) Thanks for hosting this wonderful link up.

  3. Great job on your 5th marathon! With having 10 weeks to train, you did awesome! I would love to do Marine Corps marathon some time!

  4. That's cool you were able to run MCM! Congrats!!

  5. I did NYC marathon this past weekend and am a big fan of run/walk. I have a timer and try to follow the intervals. I am in my mid forties and only run 3 times a week. It still allowed me to complete 2 marathons this year.

    And I agree with you about having an objective. If so, you know what you are training for.

    Congratulations ! Finishing a marathon is such a huge accomplishment.

    1. Congratulation on NYC! That's on my bucket list. Good to know I'm not the only one in this kind of training path =)

  6. I'm so glad you linked ups with us to share this. Yes, you can do what you set your mind too! I'm very glad your 5th marathon turned out so well. I really want to do this race some day just as soon as I find the motivation to train for another marathon!

    1. Definitely should be in everyone's bucket list. If you haven't been to DC, it's a good way to get to know the place.

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